At Purple Unions, we take marriage equality seriously. As a gay couple who have been together since 1992, we know that gay and lesbian couples can and do form long-term, stable, supportive relationships, and we believe the institution of marriage and all the responsabilities and benefits that come with it should be opened up to committed gay and lesbian couples everywhere. To this end, we created Purple Unions as a place where gay and lesbian couples can find gay friendly wedding vendors to help them plan their perfect wedding day.
California has a long and storied history on the recognition of gay and lesbian relationships. In 1999, the initial domestic partnership bill was passed. In 2000, Proposition 22, a legal ban on gay marriage, passed with 61% of the vote. In 2001, domestic partnerships were expanded to add additional rights. In 2003, the legislature expanded domestic partnerships to include all the rights of marriage that the state granted to straight couples.
In 2004, in response to President Bush's announcement that he would seek a national constitutional ban on marriage equality, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom threw open the doors of city hall to gay and lesbian couples. Between February 14th and March 11th, approximately 4,000 couples made thetrek to The City to marry. The Supreme Court ultimately shut down the weddings, declaring them invalid in August.
In June 2008, the Supreme Court stepped in again, declaring that gay and lesbian couples had the right to full, legal marriage in California. Once again, thousands of couples married, but the ruling also gave fuel to the fire of Proposition 8, which had been gathering signatures to place a constitutional ban on gay marriage since the fall of 2007.
In November, voters approved 52.5% by 48.5%, a much closer margin than Prop 22, but heartbreaking nonetheless. The California Supreme Court later ruled that the amendment was valid, but also upheld the marriages performed before it went into effect.
A lawsuit was subsequently filed against the new amendment, and it was declared unconstitutional in Federal Court in August, 2010. The appeal continues to wind its way through the courts.
At this time, Domestic Partnerships are still available to gay and lesbian couples.
Gay and lesbian couples can also adopt in California.
We hope that you find these resources useful, and that you'll join us in the fight for marriage equality!
--Scott & Mark, Purple Unions